Computers at Home initiative benefit Māori whānau

By Wepiha Te Kanawa

"Computers at Home" is the first free computing course in Papakura for Māori families of its kind and on top of being equipped with the skills needed to work a computer, students also get their own computer to take home upon graduation.

t's a task many might take for granted but just a few months ago, Kea Te Kani couldn't even turn on a computer. 

Te Kani (Waikato) said, "I was terrified of emailing the wrong email to the wrong people, or not even getting my message sent out, I really didn't have the confidence before I started this computer course."

Thanks to a computing course at Mansell Senior School in Papakura, she can do that and much more.

"I'm grateful for her to have knowledge of the new technology these days, because it would be really hard for an old person to learn new tricks," said Te Kani.

But Kea has a few hidden tricks of her own.

Computer tutor Tania Manuera explains, "They provide free 20 hours of training and after the training each parents walk away with a computer to take home and that's theirs to keep forever plus they get subsidised internet on top of that to help them with on-going learning for themselves and their whānau at home."

Manuera goes on to say the whole family will benefit from the course saying, "She can do it all from her finger tips from the comfort of her own home, and the same with her nephew when he has homework from school he can come straight home and do the same thing."

It's the only programme of its kind in Papakura but eventually Manuera hopes it will be introduced across the country.